As I explore forums catering to professional and aspiring authors, my eyes are opening to the strong opinions people form on things such as character point of view. I never in my life have stopped to consider POV when picking out a book to read. Give me an interesting plot for escapism, some intriguing characters to care about, and I’m there.
Likewise as I write it’s mainly what the characters have to say that decides the format of my fiction. But hoping to get my work published means I should pay a little attention to what book buyers want. Right?
A pleasant part of that has been simply reading more contemporary fiction. Another way has been to sample from the countless experiences shared by considerate authors blazing the trail.
Not all has been delightful. For example, I have read that particular styles of writing are actually expected for certain genres. Allegedly, an aficionado scans the first paragraph counting on a certain formula.
I won’t even begin to list what genre follows which blueprint because, frankly, I find the notion disheartening. If that is the case and my offering doesn’t fit will my effort be passed over without a second glance?
It’s a sad thought. So tonight at my desk I’ll advance the plot and not worry about fitting into a mold.
Yet the discovery calls to mind a writing class recommended some months ago by a friend of a friend. Initially enthused, I sat and listened at some length to this stranger’s discourse. It seemed that this lady wrote steamy romance stories that were on the cusp of being published. If I did what she’d done, maybe that could be me!
Quickly I learned that she writes erotica not out of passion but because she thinks she can turn a fast buck. The seminar she touted like a sales pitch sounded as if the “professor” focused less on the craft than how to market material to publishers. And her almost religious fervor made me wonder if she’d get a commission by recruiting others to her cult. As you can imagine, I gave the course a skip.
I am happy to report finding more encouragement than disappointment. Granted, I have yet to officially introduce my works to the world of publishing. My focus remains on telling the story and doing rewrite after rewrite until the end product satisfies me. I’ll worry about the rest later.
So you tell me, gentle reader, what keeps you turning the page?